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Spike-based synaptic plasticity in silicon: design, implementation, application, and challenges


Azghadi, M Rahimi; Iannella, N; Al-Sarawi, S; Indiveri, G; Abbott, D (2014). Spike-based synaptic plasticity in silicon: design, implementation, application, and challenges. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Proceedings, 102(5):717-737.

Abstract

The ability to carry out signal processing, classification, recognition, and computation in artificial spiking neural networks (SNNs) is mediated by their synapses. In particular, through activity-dependent alteration of their efficacies, synapses play a fundamental role in learning. The mathematical prescriptions under which synapses modify their weights are termed synaptic plasticity rules. These learning rules can be based on abstract computational neuroscience models or on detailed biophysical ones. As these rules are being proposed and developed by experimental and computational neuroscientists, engineers strive to design and implement them in silicon and en masse in order to employ them in complex real-world applications. In this paper, we describe analog very large-scale integration (VLSI) circuit implementations of multiple synaptic plasticity rules, ranging from phenomenological ones (e.g., based on spike timing, mean firing rates, or both) to biophysically realistic ones (e.g., calcium-dependent models). We discuss the application domains, weaknesses, and strengths of various representative approaches proposed in the literature, and provide insight into the challenges that engineers face when designing and implementing synaptic plasticity rules in VLSI technology for utilizing them in real-world applications.

Abstract

The ability to carry out signal processing, classification, recognition, and computation in artificial spiking neural networks (SNNs) is mediated by their synapses. In particular, through activity-dependent alteration of their efficacies, synapses play a fundamental role in learning. The mathematical prescriptions under which synapses modify their weights are termed synaptic plasticity rules. These learning rules can be based on abstract computational neuroscience models or on detailed biophysical ones. As these rules are being proposed and developed by experimental and computational neuroscientists, engineers strive to design and implement them in silicon and en masse in order to employ them in complex real-world applications. In this paper, we describe analog very large-scale integration (VLSI) circuit implementations of multiple synaptic plasticity rules, ranging from phenomenological ones (e.g., based on spike timing, mean firing rates, or both) to biophysically realistic ones (e.g., calcium-dependent models). We discuss the application domains, weaknesses, and strengths of various representative approaches proposed in the literature, and provide insight into the challenges that engineers face when designing and implementing synaptic plasticity rules in VLSI technology for utilizing them in real-world applications.

Citations

22 citations in Web of Science®
25 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:23 Feb 2015 16:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:00
Publisher:Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of Pages:21
ISSN:0018-9219
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/JPROC.2014.2314454

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